Merritt Centennials
Q101 is the Home of the Cents!

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With both coaches looking for a 60 minute effort from their clubs, it’s Head Coach Joe Martin who wishes he had a 65 minute effort, as just 17 seconds into overtime the Spruce Kings stand out rookie defenseman Layton Ahac roofed a wrister over the blocker of Jake Berger to give the Spruce Kings the edge 3-2.

The first period started well for the Spruce Kings, as they got on the board just 1:37 into the contest after a turnover by Sam Miller at centre ice resulted in a one on one opportunity for Ethan De Jong against Mattias Dal Monte. De Jong managed to get around Dal Monte, and then was able to trickle a shot over the arm of Berger to make it 1-0.

Sam Miller more than made it up to his team mates as later in the period, with just 2 minutes to go he wristed a seeing-eye shot through the crowd from the left point that deflected off a Spruce Kings defender and in for his first in the BCHL. After one period of play it was tied 1-1.

The Cents came out a team possessed in the second period. Zach Court had a penalty shot opportunity just a minute into the frame, and was promptly denied by Evan De Brouwer, but moments later on the offensive zone face off, Jack Vincent won the puck back to Sam Miller who teed it up from the line, and Alex Bourhas found the rebound for his second in two games, and Miller’s second point on the night. The teams would trade powerplays and chances throughout the remainder of the second, but the goaltenders would keep it a 2-1 score.

In the third, Merritt killed off an early penalty before having two opportunities on the powerplay where De Brouwer was able to make some key saves. When the teams returned to 5 on 5, Patrick Cozzi streaked down the right wing and his centering found Nolan Welsh with his stick on the ice heading to the net, and he tapped it in to tie it up at 2. The Cents had golden opportunities from Nick Wicks in the slot all alone, and a solid power move by Rylan Van Unen to go to the net but De Brouwer managed to get the game to overtime where the Spruce Kings won it in just 17 seconds.

After the game, Coach Martin said the team played well and had plenty of chances to win.

“The team played hard, and we had our chances. Wicks in front with a great chance everyone thought was going in, Van Unen on a partial breakaway, Court with a penalty shot... I’m encouraged by what I’m seeing out there.”

The Cents will have 2 more games this weekend against two top teams. The Penticton Vees come to town on Friday night, and the Cents hit the road for Wenatchee to take on the wild on Saturday.

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